Slay your Zoom interview: A headhunter’s top five tips

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  • Virtual job interviews are here to stay. So how do you impress a potential new boss when the cat is using your leg as a scratching post? These Zoom interview tips should help...

    We all know working from home can be chaotic at the best of times. There’s the ongoing battle for the wifi, IT issues with no in-house IT support, and your housemate’s washing draped over a radiator right next to your designated work area. Throw into the mix a dream job interview – taking place via Zoom, of course – and you may just despair.

    While a return to the office is taking place as we speak for most businesses, it seems likely that virtual job interviews are here to stay. But taking part in a Zoom interview can be a daunting prospect, and with recent research finding that more than 25% of recruiters make up their mind within the first five minutes of seeing a candidate, the pressure is on.

    Laptop set up for Zoom interview

    That’s why we asked Asana’s Global Head of Talent, Kayla Vatalaro, to show you how to steady your nerves and shine brightly. “Given the absence of social cues and the chatter we’re used to, it’s more important than ever to be proactive and intentional about how you show up,” says Kayla. “It’s vital to bring self-awareness and empathy into your virtual interview, and learn how to be a partner to your recruiter, and demonstrating strong communication skills is more important than ever before.”

    Zoom interview tips to help you secure that job:

    1. Set the stage and frame your shot

    Give a great first impression by making sure you find a clutter-free space with a tasteful or neutral backdrop ahead of time. Position your webcam so it sits at eye level and make sure to have ample light. Proper camera angles and lighting not only up your selfie game, but they’re also essential for high-quality video interviews. On the big day, clear the room of anything distracting such as laundry and pets, so the interviewer can focus on you – not what’s behind you.

    2. Do a mock run through and check your tech

    One of the benefits of a Zoom interview is that many of us remain surrounded by family, friends or housemates. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their presence to practice your remote interviewing skills. Even if you share a home, ask them to hop on a video call to not only run through mock questions, but also test how you come across on video in the absence of non-verbal cues, in addition to testing your lighting, sound quality, and camera angle. If you’d prefer not to ask a friend or family member for help, then compile a list of expected questions and practice delivering your responses on video. It may be uncomfortable but now is the time to get used to seeing yourself on video!

    3. Ditch the sweatpants and dress for success

    Communicate professionalism by dressing the part, from head to toe. Although it can be tempting to stay in your pyjama bottoms, prevent those unnecessary embarrassing bare legged moments (we’ve all seen the videos). Generally dress as you would on the job, and when in doubt – just ask your recruiter what the company’s dress code is.

    smart interview outfit on a hanger

    4. Be a partner to your recruiter

    With application volume and requests for referrals higher than ever, many recruiters are overwhelmed. At the same time, know that your recruiter is rooting for you and doing their best to support you through the interview process. Work with them by having open and honest conversations about your candidacy, responding quickly, delivering documents on time, and understanding that they may not get back to you right away.

     5. Bring self-awareness and lean into your communication skills

    It’s important to remember that tech troubles and internet lags can make things trickier, so in the absence of non-verbal cues, being self-aware and showing empathy helps make the experience feel more comfortable for everyone. It can be tough to know when someone is done talking, so give your interviewer an extra beat to complete their thought and use subtle gestures like head nodding to indicate you’ve finished your answer. Showcase your communication skills by referring back to your interviewer’s prompt, asking clarifying questions, and walking the interviewer through your thinking process.

    And remember, this is your time to shine. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and let your personality come through. Good luck!

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